Hanging Tough in the Yard Independent lumberyards and tool houses face the superstores In the late 1980s, as the chain of Home Depot superstores became the Wal-Mart of the lumberyard industry, some observers predicted the chain's expansion would decimate independent lumberyards and tool dealers. This concerned not only lumberyard owners, but contractors and industry analysts who feared that contractors would lose access to the suppliers on which they had long depended for contractor-oriented service and high-quality materials. It is only in the last five years that Home Depot has penetrated New England and New York heavily. Its arrival has proven the prophets about half right. Home Depot has opened dozens of stores in the region and NEW ENGLAN D The Construction Business & Technology Conference and Expo, now in